So, June was my Nan, my inspiration in most leaps of life. From a young age, visiting my Nan's with my brother and sister usually consisted of watching the Tour De France or any other cycling on Eurosport, so I thought it rather apt to complete this ride in her honour! Her love of Cycling took her all over Europe in her Camper Van with the love of her life, Arthur. For months on end, the campervan would be driven to the channel tunnel or ferry, across France, Italy, Switzerland and it even went to Venice!
Aside from her Love for cycling and traveling, June devoted most of her life to caring for others. During her life long career in Nursing, June was positioned at the Queens Medical Center in Nottingham for over 10 years on the Leukaemia ward, specifically ward C52. June, including my mother Julie and her sister Jane, also devoted their later lives to the care of Arthur. Arthur was diagnosed with MSA and soon became bed bound, but that didn't stop the two reaching their Golden Wedding anniversary in 2005. June passed away in December this year at the age of 80.
Now, to the challenge ahead! My colleague, and ride organiser Paul Clarke decided that it would be a good idea, knowing full well the challenge ahead, to drag me along with him. I've ridden Mountain Bike for a few years, never Road bikes, especially the distance we're trying to achieve. The ride is approx. 140 miles, Morecombe Bay to Whitby, over 10,000 ft. of climbing, which I'm sure you'll agree is a fair ride for any experienced cyclist, never mind those who have only ever managed a pedal to the pub or supermarket! We're planning to be in the saddle for approximately 10 hours, burning somewhere in the region of 7,000 calories.
Of the 5 other riders that have taken up this challenge, only 2 have ever ridden anything like this before and therefore will be supporting the other 4 on what will be a personal journey.
The team line up looks like this:
Sam O'Neill - Well, this is me! Occasional MTB rider and the whipper snapper of the team, avid photographer and generally just likes being outdoors, enough said.
Paul Clarke - seasoned rider of anything with two wheels and even more seasoned crasher...raced everything from BMX to MTB endurance, more scars than the skin he was born in and mastermind behind this C2C.
Patrick Froede - Flat out roadie, another seasoned rider with too many miles under his belt to remember, not forgetting Sportives, Go-pro camera man and fellow course creation torturer.
Anthony Granville - Occasional MTB and Road rider, Gym junkie and affectionately known as short legs...he'd find this challenge easy if he was pedalling with his arms!
Paul Linnecor - Novice, old man of the team at literally twice the age of Sam and probably the least experienced to boot, but fully committed and raring to go!
Matthew Marsden - Novice but not unaccustomed to a cycling challenge having completed Nottingham to Skegness in recent years...
Well that's all for now, thank you taking the time to read this and I hope it made you smile, think and inspires you to put your hand in your pocket and pledge....even if it's just a pound, they all add up! (:
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